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Gloria Guenther
Winnipeg, Windflower Communications, 1991. 128pp, paper, $5.95
ISBN 1-895308-00-3. CIP

Grades 6 and up/Ages 11 and up

Reviewed by Anna Santarossa

Volume 20 Number 3
1992 May

Shalom, a potential show cat, escapes from his comfortable Rosedale home to explore the outside world. He gets lost after being chased by a dog, but is fortunately befriended by a street-smart cat called Subway Pete.

Personal tragedy ensues when Shalom and Subway Pete are attacked by a vicious cat called Big Tom. Shalom's ear is ripped in the fight and he thereby loses any chance he had of ever being a champion show cat. Shalom is devastated until a beautiful Siamese show cat called Schima reminds him of what he had once said. "A cat doesn't have to have a fancy pedigree to be some­thing special."

Later on in the story, Shalom is badly hurt when Nasty Joe, Rosedale's most cruel animal abuser, tries to capture him. Subway Pete is also hurt in the escapade when, in is haste to escape, he crosses the subway tracks and ends up having his tail cut off by a passing train.

Despite the adversity, there is a happy ending. Shalom is reunited with his owner, then sold and married to the beautiful Schima. Subway Pete is adopted by the police as the precinct's constable in charge of mouse patrol. All the other strays who wanted to find homes are also adopted.

The cats in the story are interesting and never dull. Their plight is depicted with a sympathetic but not overly sentimental tone, that is, until the end. The ending was overly sentimental and romantic, and it detracted from the rest of the story.

Although you would have to coax young teens to read this type of novel, 1 think that they would enjoy the story and perhaps come away with a different perspective on pets and stray animals.

Anna Santarossa, Bolton, Ont.

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